Share The Stoke: Empowering Young Surfers in Coastal Communities
This past Saturday was a fun-filled beach day with our Ulu Pono Teens that consisted of watching the Pipeline Pro surf contest, gourmet pb&j sandwiches at the park, and surfing with Kelly Kingston on brand new Firewire boards given to the teens from Share The Stoke Foundation. Earlier that morning, the group of tired teens loaded up in the van having no idea what the day would hold. The drive down to North Shore was spent jamming with the windows down, letting a flood of warm fresh air fill the van. They began to gain more energy and curiosity took over as they asked endless questions about what the day would look like. We finally arrived at Pipeline and piled out of the van as quickly as we could, to find ourselves in the middle of a packed out beach. Amazed that we found a spot for all twenty of us, we spread our towels across the sand and sat watching as the next heat of the contest began. It was surreal watching each of their stoke levels build because, for most of them, this was the first time they had the opportunity to see professional surfers catching waves. It was incredible seeing the teens get so amped on the sport of surfing and feeling inspired to also become more confident surfers themselves. The heat ended and the contest was called for the rest of the day so we packed up our things and headed over to the park for lunch. Devouring their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, the teens began to grow increasingly antsy for us to head towards Pua`ena Point Beach.
We had brought a few Wavestorms and NSP boards with us but the crew was unaware that upon arriving at Pua`ena, they would be given brand new FireWire boards, including new FCS fins, leashes, and Sticky Bumps wax. Our crew began walking toward the beach where Kelly was waiting with six beautiful, untouched boards. The teens gathered around her, hardly able to contain their excitement and she began to explain what Share The Stoke Foundation was about and why they wanted to donate new boards to the teens and kids at Surfing The Nations. Their mission is to globally give individuals the opportunity to surf who do not have the resources to make that dream come true. Their desire is to never meet a stranger and they have radically impacted so many lives around the world by providing them with these resources to endlessly catch waves and grow into a confident surfer. They emphasize and place significant value on responsibility, community, discipline, and leadership. After sharing her heart and empowering the kids, we split up into groups where she began showing us how to install the fins and attach leashes to each board. In their groups, they covered their boards with the new wax and took off down the beach to catch some waves. Kelly joined them in the water and the teens got to spend the rest of the afternoon paddling into the waves. After a stellar day with Kelly and our crew, we rinsed and loaded our boards. On the drive home, a couple of the teens were asked what their favorite parts of the day were. Most of them were incredibly stoked about the day as a whole, but there were definitely highlights that had a profound impact on each of them.
“Got to see my twin, Jamie O’Brien’s house!” ~ Jamielynn 12 yrs
“My favorite part of the day was meeting Kelly because she’s rad and gave us new surf boards!” ~ Jayjann, 11 yrs
“I liked watching the surf contest and seeing all the cool surfers.” ~ Malcolm, 12 yrs